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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Followup on Jordanian-Palestinian protest at US embassy

I reported on Sunday that there was a protest at the US embassy in Amman over the weekend against reclassifying Palestinian Arab refugee status to be in line with the UN's definition for all other people.

I had the feeling that it was staged and that the protesters were far from representative of the vast majority of Jordanian Palestinians, most of whom prefer to stay in Jordan. As I had noted in an Independent article from 2009:
He seems perplexed when asked which is his country – Jordan or Palestine. "We have no security here, but we are Jordanians," replies Mustapha, who lounges on a mattress in a two-storey cement house down the road while one of his five daughters offers tiny glasses of steaming herbal tea and cardamom-scented coffee. "Everything I have is here. This house. My car. My job. What would I have in Nablus or Be'ersheba?" he declares. "My children know nothing but Jordan. And we will stay here."

That determination, echoed repeatedly through the dilapidated cement homes that line Baqa'a's gravelly streets and dust-filled shops, is precisely what terrifies Jordan's East Bank establishment.
Mudar Zahran, a Jordanian Palestinian and well-known writer, added a comment to give context to this demonstration:
Less than 35 people attended this protest. This is a fake Jordanian-intelligence backed protest, this was called for by the Jordanian intelligence service, and the majority of Palestinians refused to attend as I have advised them openly not to so. This protest of 35 people was organzied by the my own cousin, Omar Abu Latifa, a known-intelligence agent operating at Hitten refugee camp, who has been instructed by his officers to confront my effort, nonetheless, the turn out number...less than 35, from two million refugee camps residents. Please spread my response.